Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Auckland councillors all ready to raise rates?


Q: How do you know a politician is lying?
A: Their lips are moving.

Latest riff on that theme:

Tomorrow Auckland Council Finance Committee meets to set next year's budget and rates. Goff has said he wants a 2.5% rates rise but many Councillors have signed the Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance Pledge to keep annual rates rises to 2%. Will they capitulate to Goff’s demands and fall at the first hurdle? [Having been handed lucrative positions to as Chairs and Deputy Chairs of the various Council Committees] it looks like some might….

There also being a very big difference indeed between what a politician says before an election and after. It gets worse:

Goff is already signalling that his 2.5% is mere smoke and mirrors [says ratepayers’ watchdog Jo Holmes]. He could have given the hard pressed ratepayers a rates holiday by cutting out the myriad of wasteful projects left behind as the legacy of the failed Len Brown era. Instead, he intends to increase the financial burden of ratepayers through a series of indirect taxes and levies.

Goff’s mooted levies, impositions and indirect taxes already include a tourist tax, a petrol tax, a tax on “large-scale developments” and a raid on the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund. And that’s just the pickpocketing he’s dreamed up so far. (And given Bill English’s love of a levy and new finance minister Steven Joyce’s ease with corporate welfare -- and Phil Goof’s undoubted ability with spin -- you wouldn’t put any of it beyond him.)

We will find out tomorrow who sold out Auckland ratepayers and who didn’t.

It will take a wee bit longer to discover how much and to what extent Joyce and others sells out the country’s taxpayers.


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